The Centre for Early Life Matters (ELM) provides therapeutic counselling services for families who have babies and young children and are worried about how they are behaving or feeling.

Who is our Service for?

Any family with young children aged zero to eight years who are worried about:

The impact of difficult family circumstances such as family mental health issues, family violence, trauma, loss and grief on your baby or child

Babies and children adjusting to family change, separation and transitions

Family conflict centred on the baby or child

Mental health of the baby or child

Parenting stress

Who are we?

We are a multi-disciplinary team of experienced professionals who work with babies, children and their carers.

The work of ELM is based on the following underlying principles:

  • Prevention, early intervention and treatment improve lives: the early years of a child’s life are critical for the development of solid foundations for being mentally healthy and developing well across the life span
  • Supporting the healthy social and emotional development of infants and young children requires a holistic family approach: the relationship between a child and his or her parent/caregiver/s is crucial to the child’s physical and psychological development
  • Interdisciplinary approach: addressing early years mental health requires a broader child-focused and family-centred approach pulling together a range of service approaches and professional disciplines
  • Collaboration: connecting with expertise and knowledge within the perinatal, infant and early childhood mental health and early years development fields, nationally and internationally
  • Culturally appropriate: the clients’ individual needs and backgrounds influence the type of support and the way it may be provided
  • Supporting those most vulnerable or at highest risk of poor outcomes: recognising that these children and families come from all walks of life and income levels.

How do we work?

We focus on relationships between parents and children, within families and with others.

We take a child-centred, family-focused, strength-based approach, identifying and building on the capacities of children, parents, families and their supporters to improve the situation.

How do we work?

Centre-based individual and group therapy

Therapeutic group for families of children aged zero to eight years using the Circle of Security intensive model.


Psychoeducational parenting program using the Circle of Security framework for families of children zero to 12 years.



The Circle of Security Parenting Course is an eight week group designed to enhance relationships with your children. The group will also provide you with a theoretical framework to help you better understand your child and their physical and emotional needs by providing insight into what your child’s behaviour might be telling you.

The Circle of Security Intensive Course is a 20 week, either group-based or individual, parent educational and psychotherapeutic intervention designed to shift patterns of interaction in the parent-child relationship to a more appropriate developmental pathway. Using edited video tapes of their interactions with their children, care givers are encouraged to:

  • Increase their sensitivity and appropriate responsiveness to their children’s signals for closeness and comfort
  • Increase their ability to reflect on their own and their child’s behaviours, thought and feelings regarding their attachment care giving interactions and
  • Reflect on experiences in their own histories that effect their own care giving patterns.
We welcome direct enquiries from parents and carers as well as referrals from other professionals working with children and families.

FREE CALL 1800 427 920  |  [email protected]

ELM is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Service (DSS) and ACT Department of Health.
A small fee for service and a waiting period may apply.